10 Colorful Shrubs for a Standout Winter Garden

The dreary days of winter become even more bleak if your landscape looks dead, brown, and bare. Cheer up your lawn and garden with these 10 showy shrubs that offer colorful cold-weather curb appeal.

  1. Camellia


    Camellia has glossy green leaves and vibrant flowers that bloom throughout winter. The shade-loving plant comes in a host of colors, including white, coral, pink, yellow, and red––and some extra-showy specimens display more than one hue. Camellia’s growing habits vary based on variety, with some resembling trees while others take the traditional shrub form. As long as you select a winter-blooming variety, you can rely on camellia for lustrous greenery and cold-weather color for many seasons to come. 

    Related: Liven Up Your Winter Porch with 8 Cold-Loving Plants


  2. Firethorn


    Pyracantha, better known as firethorn, is a low-maintenance evergreen that provides seasonal interest in the form of bright berries that, depending on variety, can be golden, red, or orange-red. It’s easy to grow, versatile, and beautiful in a hedge or as an accent shrub. Many varieties of firethorn thrive in several planting zones, so you should be able to find a number of options that suit your requirements for growth pattern and berry color. 

    Related: How to Help Your Houseplants Survive the Winter


  3. Beautyberry


    Resplendent in thick green foliage during the growing season, beautyberry produces cascades of glossy, iridescent purple berries in the winter. The three- to five-foot shrub is a striking addition to any landscape, and it also provides life-sustaining food for birds and other wildlife.

    Related: 8 No-Care Plants for Killer Curb Appeal in Every Season


  4. Fringe Flower

    Fringe Flower

    Thanks to its rich burgundy foliage, fringe flower brings a unique touch of color and texture to the yard or garden, no matter the season. But the plant’s main draw is its profusion of long, bright pink flowers that bloom in winter, instantly cheering up an otherwise bleak yard.

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  5. Red Twig Dogwood

    Red Twig Dogwood

    After losing its summertime covering of white flowers and its fall crop of berries and leaves, the red twig dogwood draws attention with its bright red branches that remain colorful throughout winter. The plant provides a beautiful counterpoint to snowy landscapes, white-barked birch trees, and dark evergreens like hollies.

    Related: 25 Plants for Your Easiest Garden Ever


  6. Nandina 'Firepower'

    Firepower Nandina

    This dwarf variety of nandina has a rush of brilliant flame-colored foliage that lasts throughout the cold season—which explains its “firepower” moniker. Unlike its cousin, heavenly bamboo, firepower stays compact, reaching only about two feet by two feet, making it an excellent border shrub or accent.

    Related: 10 Fast-Growing Plants for (Almost) Instant Curb Appeal


  7. Winterberry


    Ilex verticillata, commonly known as winterberry, is a deciduous holly that loses its glossy green leaves in winter, then erupts with red berries that are a feast for both the birds and your eyes. Only the female plants produce berries, so be sure you have both male and female specimens on your property for proper pollination.

    Related: 14 Totally Free Ways to Start Your Own Garden


  8. Viburnum Nudum 'Winterthur'

    Winterthur Viburnum

    Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur' bursts with foliage and fruit in the fall. Its leaves turn dark maroon, and its tightly clustered berries start off green before turning pink, red, and ultimately dark blue. The plant is also pretty during springtime, when it features dark green leaves and groupings of small off-white blooms.

    Related: 10 Ways to Buy Your Garden on the Internet


  9. Abelia 'Kaleidoscope'

    Kaleidoscope Abelia

    An easy-to-maintain dwarf evergreen, 'Kaleidoscope' abelia changes color from yellow-gold in spring to orange-red in fall, then becomes peppered with white flowers throughout winter. The shrub is hardy to -10 degrees Fahrenheit and works well as a border, accent, or container plant.

    Related: 15 Plants Never to Grow in Your Yard


  10. Mahonia


    With holly-like leaves and spiking flowers, mahonia lends charm to any garden. It blooms in late winter with a shock of cheerful yellow flowers, and purple-blue berries add interest in the spring. Mahonia tolerates both shade and drought, making it a great choice for gardeners looking for low-maintenance showy shrubs.

    Related: 20 Plants That Survive With or Without You


  11. Enjoy the Season

    Enjoy the Season

    Fall and winter don't last forever. Soon it will be spring and your garden will be growing. Perform a little yard maintenance now to make peak lawn and garden season easier and more beautiful than ever.


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